My first thoughts when I hit play on the new record by Absent Hours entitled End Effect was that this kind of sounded like Iceage if they listened to more Radiohead. The music as well as the vocals are raw, loose and sloppy but in some ways feel more grounded in art rock than punk.
End Effect contains the type of music you are going to pop in after being stuck in a car for an hour with a co-worker who listens to a radio station that plays over-produced top 40 pop songs. Some of the appeal of End Effect is just how completely opposite it feels from 90% of popular music. It’s often dark with no real hooks, as well as dissonant. I say that in the best way possible. The music that Absent Hours makes is refreshingly original. It may immediately turn off some people but anyone who has been exposed to decent indie music should understand where brilliant aspects of it lie.
The album starts off with “Castaway.” It begins with a haunting piano melody that soon gets layered with subtle electric guitars, bass and a dry sounding drum kit. One element of the song I found engaging was when they rocked out it felt restrained. That sounds like a negative assessment on paper but is quite the opposite.
“Glass Dog” combines reverb-laced guitars with submerged piano melody creating an atmospheric canvas for the vocalist Alec Mallia to sing over. It was about this time that I really started appreciating the vocal delivery. The vocals are appealing in an unconventional way. It’s as if Mallia ingested Xanax and a couple shots of tequila before sputtering out words that seems to be from a stream of consciousness.
“Other” has a tinge of garage rock as they cover their guitars in more distortion than normal while the closer “End Effect” combines a prominent piano with atmospheric guitars. “End Effect” is another testament to some of the attributes that are making Absent Hours Absent Hours. This song has the potential to be over the top and grandiose and if it had been covered by a more “traditional” popular rock band (Coldplay, U2) would have been. The band hints at the idea but shows restraint. It’s a unique characteristic that is quite rare.
This is a no brainer. End Effect is an inspired release and I am excited to see where this goes.
Become A Fan
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook